Peter Attia on Zone 5 & Anaerobic Training Protocols

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This audio clip was pulled from “Ask Me Anything” episode #21 — Deep dive into olive oil, high-intensity exercise, book update, and more. This episode was originally released on March 15, 2021.

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Show Notes

Zone 5 training: Peter’s approach to zone 5 training, and other anaerobic training protocols [49:30]

Peter’s zone 5 protocol

On his stairmaster:

  • One time per week using a stairmaster
  • 4 minute pattern:
    • 3 minutes of zone 2
    • 1 minute at his VO2 max
    • Repeat for 20-30 minutes
  • He usually does this on the tail end of a zone two workout (his longer aerobic day)
  • Note: Peter knows his VO2 max and also knows the conversion to METS which the stairmaster can track

He also does zone 5 on his bike:

  • Four minutes at 125% of FTP (functional threshold power)
  • Followed by four minutes recovery
  • A one to one work/rest at a lower intensity than the 3 to 1 one rest to work that described on the stairmaster

“My view is most people spend too much time there and not enough time in zone 2.” —Peter Attia


Selected Links / Related Material

Episode of The Drive with Alex Hutchinson where they talk about true sprint speed only being about 10 seconds: #151 – Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D.: Translating the science of endurance and extreme human performance | Peter Attia ( [53:00]

Great book by Alex Hutchinson: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson | ( [53:00]



Stairs climbing running woman doing run up steps on staircase. Female runner athlete going up stairs in urban city doing cardio sport workout run outside during summer. Activewear leggings and shoes.

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